Ellis Cooper goes for double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds
WORCESTER, Mass. (January 23, 2013) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team won its second-straight game Wednesday as the Ravens knocked off No. 16 nationally ranked Assumption, 79-59, at Laska Gymnasium in Worcester, Mass. The Ravens, who were receiving honorable-mention votes of their own in the NABC national poll, improved to 12-4 overall and 9-3 in the Northeast-10, while the Greyhounds fell to 13-3 and 10-2 in league play.
Eight Ravens scored in the game and several hit clutch baskets in the second half to keep Assumption at bay as it looked to try make a run at pulling off a come-from-behind victory, but could not.
Senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.) pumped in 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 10 points in the second half. Two of those came off a fabulous steal and coast-to-coast dunk midway through the second half, which symbolized the Ravens strong offensive play all night.
Three other Ravens scored in double-figures, including Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) with 14 points, Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) with 12 points and Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) with 12 points as well. Cooper also ripped down 10 rebounds to log a double-double.
The Ravens shot 55 percent from the field (29-of-53), including a solid 17-of-19 from the free throw line. Jean-Guillaume was 8-of-9 from the foul line.
Franklin Pierce used a mini 7-0 run late in the first half to snap a 16-16 tie and grab the momentum the remainder of the stanza. Vourliotakis laid in a basket to kick-start the rally and Jean-Guillaume followed with a steal off the ensuing inbounds pass, flipped in a layup and drew a foul while converting the free throw for the three-point play.
The Ravens were strong defensively during the surge, holding Assumption without a field goal for a little more than six minutes. Franklin Pierce's transition game benefitted from the stops and Vilmont threw down a fastbreak dunk off a nifty feed from Cooper to make it 29-23 with 2:21 left in the half. Curtis Christian (Harlem, N.Y.) answered with a jumper from the right corner off transition on the Ravens next possession, and Franklin Pierce eventually took a 34-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Jean-Guillaume had 11 points in the half, while Vourliotakis and Cooper chipped in with eight apiece. The Ravens shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
The hot shooting remained for Franklin Pierce in the initial stages of the second half and back-to-back three-pointers from Vilmont and Jean-Guillaume pushed the Ravens lead out to 13 at 46-33 with 16:31 remaining.
Assumption cut the lead to three after a timeout as Ronson Quick knocked down three-consecutive three-pointers to make it 48-45.
But the Ravens responded with seven-straight points, sparked by three points from Vilmont and capped with a jumper from Christian and free throws from Jean-Guillaume to extend the lead to 55-45 with 12:00 to go.
The game would settle into a familiar pattern the rest of the way as the Greyhounds would convert a basket or two to spark the home crowd, but Franklin Pierce would respond each time with either a triple or driving layup to keep Assumption at bay.
Jean-Guillaume threw down his monster dunk and a few moments later the Ravens scored five-straight points off a three from Georgios Papapetrou (Athens, Greece) and a layup from Andre Blackwood (Paterson, N.J.) to take a 66-54 advantage.
Franklin Pierce finally put the game out of reach late as it scored five-consecutive points to take a 73-57 lead with 4:21 to go. Blackwood and Matt Barboza (East Providence, R.I.) each dropped in layups to highlight the closing surge.
Quick led all Assumption scorers with 14 points, while Kevin Donahue and Terrance Bobb-Jones followed with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Franklin Pierce returns to action Saturday when the Ravens play host to Pace at 3:30 p.m. in The Fieldhouse in Rindge. The game will be a part of Rocky the Raven Kid's Day, which will feature games and prizes for children in attendance. All kids eighth grade and younger will be admitted free to both games if accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information on Franklin Pierce men's basketball, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens). Fans wishing to purchase men's basketball apparel can do so on the athletic department's online store at athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store(.)